Delaware State Courts
   home | feedback 
  search
Delaware State Courts.  The Official Website of the Delaware Judiciary
Delaware State Courts

 CASA Home

 About CASA

 History

 FAQs

 How to Become
 a Volunteer

 Volunteer Application

 Contact Us

 Helpful Links
CASA  

Family Court of the State of Delaware

How to Become a CASA Volunteer
How Can I Become a CASA Volunteer?
Volunteer Role, Standing and Relationship with the Court
Required Skills/Abilities of a CASA Volunteer
Training
Time Commitment
What You Will Accomplish
Volunteer Application

How Can I Become a CASA Volunteer?

The first step is to call the CASA office closest to you for preliminary screening. You will learn more about the CASA Program and whether you meet the basic requirements. Next, you fill out a written application. If your application is accepted, the program does several reference and background checks. In addition you will need to participate in a face-to-face interview with a Program Coordinator. The CASA Program looks for mature adults who can be objective and reliable, and who can relate to people from various lifestyles. CASA volunteers must commit to the program for a full year and must be willing to abide by the program's policies and procedures.

Volunteer Role, Standing and Relationship with the Court

By state statue (31 Del.C § 3601-3612), the CASA volunteer serves as guardian ad litem (GAL) for abused and neglected children who come before the Court and is appointed through an order executed by a Family Court Judge. The CASA is appointed by the court to establish the child's best interest by gathering information and monitoring the circumstances surrounding the child in question. A GAL within Delaware is a CASA volunteer, volunteer attorney through Office of the Child Advocate or a court appointed attorney.

The CASA volunteer takes the child's best interest into consideration when preparing a recommendation; as the guardian ad litem, the CASA volunteer is in no way legally obligated to represent the child's expressed preference.

A CASA acts in concert with those promoting the child's "best interests," but also conveys to the judge the child's expressed wishes even when in conflicts with his or her "best interests." In circumstances when the child's best interest conflicts with the child's wishes, the court will appoint a Frazier attorney to represent the child's wishes.

Required Skills/Abilities

  1. Ability to keep all client and Court information confidential
  2. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  3. Ability to respect and relate to people from various backgrounds (economic, cultural, educational) in a variety of settings
  4. Ability to transport self to a variety of locations
  5. Ability to deal with hostility, anger, and other emotional attitudes
  6. Ability to maintain objectivity
  7. Ability to gather and accurately record factual information
  8. A basic understanding of child development
  9. A basic understanding of family relationships

Training

Volunteers for the CASA program are required to attend initial training. The training is followed by post-training requirements during which specific skills are practiced. Upon completion of initial training and post-training requirements, the CASA is eligible for case assignment.

One in-service business/training meeting is scheduled each month. Attendance at these meetings is expected. CASA's will also receive direct supervision and guidance from the Program Coordinator and 12 hours of continuing education a year is mandatory for active volunteers. Legal advice and representation are available through program attorneys.

Time Commitment

Volunteers are required to commit themselves to the program for one year. Volunteers are expected to be available for case assignment and to accept cases upon request of the Program Coordinator unless:

a. The CASA is already active with a case
b. A serious conflict in values exists between the CASA and an issue relative to the case
c. The CASA has informed the Program Coordinator of a preplanned vacation or personal commitment
d. The CASA cannot participate due to illness
e. The CASA has requested a temporary respite from service

What You Will Accomplish

As a child's volunteer advocate, your goal is to represent the best interest for your CASA child. You closely monitor his or her situations, advocate for services, and report to the court recommendations based on factual information obtained.

The tree that grows from the seeds of attention and compassion you plant in your CASA child, produces
sturdy branches bearing good, healthy fruit, the effects of which are unimaginably profound and far reaching.


CASA